Sunday, January 24, 2016

Daily Dose

From The Last Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb


"'Do you remember the brown suit, which you made to hang upon you, till
all your friends cried shame upon you, it grew so thread-bare--and all
because of that folio Beaumont and Fletcher, which you dragged home
late at night from Barker's in Covent-garden? Do you remember how we
eyed it for weeks before we could make up our minds to the purchase,
and had not come to a determination till it was near ten o'clock of
the Saturday night, when you set off from Islington, fearing you
should be too late--and when the old bookseller with some grumbling
opened his shop, and by the twinkling taper (for he was setting
bedwards) lighted out the relic from his dusty treasures--and when
you lugged it home, wishing it were twice as cumbersome--and when you
presented it to me--and when we were exploring the perfectness of it
(_collating_ you called it)--and while I was repairing some of the
loose leaves with paste, which your impatience would not suffer to be
left till day-break--was there no pleasure in being a poor man? or can
those neat black clothes which you wear now, and are so careful to
keep brushed, since we have become rich and finical, give you half
the honest vanity, with which you flaunted it about in that over-worn
suit--your old corbeau--for four or five weeks longer than you should
have done, to pacify your conscience for the mighty sum of fifteen--or
sixteen shillings was it?--a great affair we thought it then--which
you had lavished on the old folio. Now you can afford to buy any book
that pleases you, but I do not see that you ever bring me home any
nice old purchases now.'"
From Old China 

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